Occupy movement

What lessons can we draw from the social movements of 2011?

We’re publishing here the first presentation to the ICC Day of Discussion held in London on 23 June. Its focus is the significance and lessons of the social revolts of 2011. The other two presentations – on the origins of Islam and on art in ascendant and decadent capitalism – can be found on our website, and we will also publish write-ups of the discussions and if possible an audio version of the day’s debates.

Massive mobilisations in Spain, Mexico, Italy, India: The union barrier against self-organisation and unification of struggles

While governments of every country are bent on imposing more and more violent austerity plans, the mobilisations of 2011 – the movement of the Indignant in Spain, Greece, etc., and the occupations in the United States and other countries – continued during the first quarter of 2012. However, the struggles came up against a powerful union mobilisation that managed to seriously hold back the process of self-organisation and unification, which began in 2011. How do we get out from under the unions’ thumb? How do we once again find and revive the tendencies that appeared in 2011? We are going to try to give some elements of a response to these questions.

Come to a day of discussion: what can we learn from the social movements of 2011?

The ICC invites you to a day of discussion in London on 23 June. The main focus of the day will be a discussion about the significance of the social movements of 2011. What can we learn from the revolts that broke out Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Greece, Spain, the USA, the UK and many other countries? What were their strengths and weaknesses? How do they relate to the more general struggle of the working class against capitalism?

Spanish indignados’ movement: What remains of 15M?

Tons of “democratist” rubbish has poured forth from Democracia Real Ya (DRY), likewise the PSOE, in order to bury the militancy, spontaneity, creativity, discussions and mobilisations of the 15M movement. But they cannot draw a veil over these events. Those days in May will remain a reference point for the fact that it is possible to struggle, to decide for ourselves. Each time that discontent and anger overwhelm democratic normality in order to fight back, 15M will be a reference point.

Occupy Zurich: When the movement becomes exhausted

Our comrades in Switzerland share here some experiences drawn from their participation in Occupy’s activities in Zurich. Despite a convergent tendency at the international level to focus (often in a very restricted fashion) on the “world of finance”, some quite diverse experiences unfolded in different countries, deserving to be taken up at the international level. And these happened when disillusionment within the Occupy movement was clearly appearing throughout.


The Occupy Movement on the West Coast: how "organizing the unorganized" led to division

More than forty years of union’s negotiations with the bosses, while guaranteeing high wages, benefits, and job security also allowed for attrition of jobs as workers retired and automation in the context of the ongoing economic crisis made the hiring of new workers superfluous. This has created the conditions of isolation the longshoremen find themselves in today and the opportunity to create divisions among groups of workers at the port, where the truckers are by far the lowest paid but also the most numerous workers at the port.

Occupy LSX Evicted: Reflections on the Occupy Movement in Britain

With the recent eviction of the Occupy LSX camp, it seems that the Occupy movement in the UK, for the time being, is winding down. In truth, a movement which was generally ‘against capitalism’ without reference to a specific struggle, would have difficulty maintaining itself. This is not to say that these occupations are useless, far from it. But we have to recognise their limitations.

Occupy Exeter, an experience rich with lessons for the future

On 12 November 2011, protesters in Exeter established a camp on the Cathedral Green in the heart of the city in solidarity with similar movements elsewhere in the UK and around the world. The Exeter experience seems to mirror others and serves as a good example of the current efforts to come to grips with the enormous challenges posed by the current epoch, the difficulties encountered in struggle and the lessons to be drawn for the future.

Occupy London, a space for discussion

In recent weeks, comrades of the ICC have attended, and on two occasions given, talks at the Occupy site in St Paul’s. As has been the case in the last few years with movements in North Africa, Greece and, most notably, Spain there is a multiplicity of ideas being discussed. The Occupy movement is no different.

Oakland: Occupy movement seeks links with the working class

We are publishing here the calls from the Occupy Oakland General Assembly for a general strike on 2 November. This is a significant development in the ‘Occupy’ movement in the US, which while generally critical of ‘capitalism’ has also been hampered by a very confused view of what capitalism is, and in particular about the only way to oppose it: through the class struggle. But this appeal, coming after a number of very bitter experiences of police repression, marks a real step forward in that it is a direct call to the local working class to support the movement through striking.

Occupy London: the weight of illusions

“Occupy London stands together with occupations all over the world; we are the 99%. We are a peaceful non-hierarchical forum. We’re in agreement that the current system is undemocratic and unjust. We need alternatives; you are invited to join us in debate and developing them; to create a better future for everyone.”  A comrade of WR recently visited both occupied sites in London.

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